Saturday, March 28, 2009
So. Julia Child.
I mean, of course, I was aware that a person named Julia Child who had written a lot of cookbooks was out there somewhere, but I hadn't really known anything about her until I was leafing through the Borders "Food Reference and Literature" section (my favorite section) and noticed that she had spent a significant portion of her life living in Washington, DC--and so I sat down over the next few days and read My Life In France.
(Yes, to me the fact that Julia Child lived in DC is much more interesting than the fact that she lived in France. Go figure.)
She has one of those biographies where you read it and think "wow--what a serendipitous series of events!" What luck for her to have met and been able to collaborate with the exact right people at the exact right time. Maybe it was the work, too; the fact that she was willing to work so hard on testing and writing out recipes ensured that she would have found a publisher regardless, and it was less "luck" when she literally stumbled into Judith Jones and Knopf in the streets of Paris than it was... um... that thing that isn't The Secret.
It was really funny, though; I read the whole book, and then I went to visit her kitchen at the Smithsonian, and they were showing a running loop of old episodes of The French Chef, and that was the first time I had the opportunity to see--or hear--Julia Child in action.
Completely unexpected. It put an entirely different color on her life. ^__^
Now I want the universe to help me figure out a way to watch all the old episodes of The French Chef (and yes, the obvious answer would be "go out and buy them, ding-dong" but it would be more fun if, say, the Smithsonian had a screening).
I also picked through the closest analog to my own cooking experience, Julie and Julia (which I resent just because it means I will never be able to write a book titled Madhur and Me). Without being too mean to Julie Powell, who has, after all, gotten her blog turned into a book and a soon-to-be released film starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, I was really disappointed. The book is about cooking in the way that Bridget Jones' Diary is about the publishing industry.
Anyway, if you haven't yet, do watch the YouTube video and then I dare you to not immediately get up and try to make an omelette. ^__^